- Shatabdi Express
passenger trains which are being operated by Indian Railways, to serve as connections between Metro towns and important cities and business centers. Shatabdi Expresses are day trains and they return to the station of origin, the same day.
Rajdhani Expressare the fastest trains in India, and Indian Railways considers them to be prestigious trains. While the Shatabdi Express series of trains run over short distances, Rajdhani Expresses are long-distance trains connecting Delhito various state capitals. Both series of trains have a regular speed of 130 km/h. The fastest train in India though is the New Delhi - Bhopal Shatabdi Express which touches 150 km/h.
The name "Shatabdi" means centenary in
Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Bengali and Kannada- the first Shatabdi was introduced in 1988 to commemorate the birth centenary of Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Ministerof India. Sri Madhav Rao Scindiawas Indian Railway minister at that point of time and the Shatabdi Express was his brainchild.The first Shatabdi Express was flagged off from Jhansito New Delhiwhich was later on extended to Bhopaland is now known by the name Bhopal-Shatabdi.The Shatabdi also has advantages compared to other trains such as receiving priority in certain circumstances and also most of the times the train arrives at the best platform there is at the station (Platform 1 in most stations).
The Shatabdi Express is the fastest train of India, and it runs at an average speed of around 80 km/h ("Please see :
Fastest trains in India").
The New Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi clocks 150km/h (highest in India) between New Delhi and Agra stations.
There is a variant of the Shatabdi Express, known as the
Swarna Shatabadi Express, which is considered more luxurious by Indian Railways. Indian Railwayslater introduced a lower-priced version called Jan-Shatabdi Expresses, which were mostly without air-conditioning and had lower fares.
The train was considered a landmark when it was introduced in India in 1988. In fact, it was criticized heavily by a section of society for its luxury in a poor country. However, with the passage of time, the train has fallen far below global standards of luxury and speed.
Shatabdi Expresses offer fast connectivity with very few stops in between. They are fully air-conditioned and of a much higher standard than most Indian rail coaches. Shatabdi Express travelers are provided with snacks, breakfast/meals, coffee/tea, a one litre water bottle provided by the railways owned and operated subsidary "Rail Neer(literal translation water)", and juice.
Indian Railways operates 12 pairs of Shatabdi Expresses and 16 pairs of Jan-Shatabdi Expresses. Out of the 12 Shatabdi Expresses, 8 originate from
New Delhi(2 to Bhopal, Lucknow, 2 to Amritsar, 2 to Kalka, Ajmerand Dehradun), two from Chennai(to Bangaloreand Mysore) and one each from Kolkata(to Ranchi) and Mumbai(to Ahmedabad).
Some of them are:
Mumbai CST- Aurangabad
New Delhi- Chandigarh
New Delhi- Dehradun
Mumbai CST- Madgaon
New Delhi- Kalka
Lucknow- New Delhi
Bhopal- New Delhi
Some claim that since there is no competition with the passenger services of Indian Railways, little emphasis is given to the improvement of services.
Furthermore, the Indian aviation sector is witnessing stiff competition and various airlines are pushing into the low-cost market on domestic routes, which in turn makes it attractive for the upper segment of rail passengers to shift to air travel. This, along with an inability to maintain a high level of service, makes it increasingly difficult for the Shatabdi and the
Rajdhani Expressto keep their customers. [http://www.businesstravellerindia.com/200603/coverstory01.shtml]
Fastest trains in India
* [http://www.indianrail.gov.in/shatabdi_trn_list.html Details of Shatabdi Expresses]
* [http://www.indianrail.gov.in/jan_shatabdi.html Details of Jan-Shatabdi Expresses]
* [http://indiarailinfo.com/train/videos/1519/664/12 Videos of Bhopal Shatabdi Express]
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